In our Lord's time Jerusalem was ruled by a 70-man group known as the Sanhedrin. It was composed of elders and the Srcibes and Pharisees. To get a grasp of these two groups, we have to go way in history, to 970 BC. Back then, another claimant was taking over the kingship, when King David had promised it to Solomon, the son of his beloved Bathsheba. When she asked David to honor his promise to let Solomon be the next king, David called for a priest named Zadoc. telling him to immediately consecrate Solomon as king.
It happened, and all of Jerusalem were so delighted at this, that Zadoc became a hero. Such a hero, that for hundreds of years, Jerusalem allowed itself to be ruled only by the immediate descendants of Zadoc, following the Law of Moses.
But in 450 B.C., Jerusalem seeing the inadequacy of the Law of Moses for regulating their modern behavior, enlisted a band of lawyers who came to be known as the Scribes, and they added thousands of amendments to the Ten Commandments'
Another major twist in Jerusalem's self government came along in 160 B.C. when an idiot was the only available descendent of Zadoc. That brought the Jewish leaders to hand the post of high priest over to Johnathan, a brother of Jerusalem'a greatest hero, Judas Maccabeus.
The notable segment of the city that rejected that compromise were the separitists or or the